Diane Arbus - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 1, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Picture Magazine, Diane Arbus: A Monograph of Seventeen Photographs, n.p.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Diane Arbus’s deep interest in childhood is clearly manifest in her 15 year career as a serious artist, perhaps most famously in Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J., 1966. Several years before Arbus photographed the haunting pair, she began focusing on children in a variety of situations. Among the images of children Arbus made in 1962 are Two boys smoking in Central Park, N.Y.C.; Junior Interstate Ballroom Dance Champions, Yonkers, N.Y. (lot xx); Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C., and the current lot, Baseball game in Central Park, N.Y.C. Despite the variance in age, socio-economic class, setting and activity, children in Arbus’s work are united by her acute perception of the conflicting tensions and emotions belying the seemingly smooth surface of childhood. Through Arbus’s astute lens, the presumed layers of innocence and naiveté are peeled back to reveal complicated, perceptive individuals.

    “I’m very little drawn to photographing people that are known or even subjects that are known,” Arbus stated. “They fascinate me when I’ve barely heard of them.” Within this context, Arbus’s interest in children is not surprising. In Baseball game in Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962 Arbus captures these complex, engaging boys in mid-action, pulling the viewer into their dynamic narrative.

    This is the first time a lifetime print of this image has appeared on the auction market.

  • Artist Biography

    Diane Arbus

    American • 1923 - 1971

    Transgressing traditional boundaries, Diane Arbus is known for her highly desirable, groundbreaking portraiture taken primarily in the American Northeast during the late 1950s and 1960s. Famous for establishing strong personal relationships with her subjects, Arbus' evocative images capture them in varied levels of intimacy. Whether in their living rooms or on the street, their surreal beauty transcends the common distance found in documentary photography.

    Taken as a whole, Arbus' oeuvre presents the great diversity of American society — nudists, twins, babies, beauty queens and giants — while each distinct image brings the viewer into contact with an exceptional individual brought to light through Arbus' undeniable genius. 

    View More Works


Baseball game in Central Park, N.Y.C.

Gelatin silver print, printed 1964-1967.
8 3/4 x 8 3/8 in. (22.2 x 21.3 cm)
Signed in ink, stamped 'A Diane Arbus Print', signed by Doon Arbus, Executor, in ink, copyright credit and reproduction limitation stamps on the verso. Accompanied by the letter of authentication from the Estate of Diane Arbus.

$35,000 - 55,000 

Sold for $40,000

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs

Shlomi Rabi
Head of Sale, New York

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New York Auction 1 October